Cat Polivoda discusses her plus-size clothing business and fat liberation
The Women’s Center held their last Feminist Feast of the semester with guest speaker, Cat Polivoda, to discuss her business “Cake Plus-size Resale” and body positivity.
Students were offered a dinner consisting of vegetarian fajitas, lemonade, and the star of the event: cake! Among the cake choices was a rich chocolate frosted cake and delicious, lemon vanilla buttercream cake.
While students plunged their forks into the divine cakes, Polivoda started her presentation with details about her journey into business.
Born in a small town in Minnesota, she eventually ventured to Germany after high school as an exchange student, Texas to continue her studies, and then New Orleans where she first got involved in clothing resale.
What started as a side hobby as selling clothes on Ebay, eventually to friends on Facebook, she realized that the plus-size clothing she was selling opened up conversations with others about body positivity and soon her business idea started to bloom.
Polivoda then started taking a business class through Women Venture and started crowdfunding for her business which was originally called “Cat’s Closet” and raised $16,122. In December of 2016, she was able to open the doors to her business and began renovating the place with her wonderful group of friends.
With help from her friend, they changed the name to “Cake: Plus-size Resale” to better help fit the vision for her new store. After months of planning, renovating, and hard work, Cake: Plus-size Resale was opened on Oct. 6, 2017.
The store gets most of its inventory from community members who sell their clothes to the store. They stock women sizes 14 and up, and men’s pants size 44 and up. The store is a body positivity zone and not only sells and buys clothes but lends a space for people to be comfortable with themselves and their bodies.
Alongside her business, Polivoda also has a podcast “Matter of Fat” with her friend Saraya Boghani where they have conversations with people and their stories of weight, body positivity, and fat liberation.
During the presentation when discussing body positivity and boosting confidence, Polivoda suggests to curate your media consumption to include more diverse images, recognize self-talk in yourself and with others, actively disconnect health from weight, build confidence by doing rather than dreaming, and to find a community even if you have to create it.
She also talks about successful strategies in creating a business such as demonstrating a focus on your area of expertise, passion, or industry, doing your research, assessing the need for what you’re offering, and determining what makes you different or better.
Liz Steinborn-Gourley, Interim Assistant Director of the Women’s Center, expresses the importance of having events like Feminist Feasts to have conversations such as body positivity that we wouldn’t otherwise.
Steinborn-Gourley said, “I like the idea of getting people more comfortable with the word feminist. I think that when we eat together it gives us something to do so we can also be talking about big topics without feeling like we’re arguing or defending so much. There’s not a lot of dialogue, so if this can foster dialogue, I think that providing the space to do that, it helps us build understanding for ourselves and for other people.”
Feature photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.